Industry News | November 7, 2011

Burger 21 Announces Expansion Plans for Orlando

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The company launched an aggressive growth strategy last month to bring its 21 chef-inspired burger creations and hand-dipped signature shakes to more cities across the U.S.

To fuel its expansion in Orlando, Burger 21 is actively seeking qualified franchisees and will host an Executive Roundtable outlining the franchise opportunity Tuesday, Nov. 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Pointe Orlando Maggiano's located at 9101 International Drive.

Chief Concept Officer Mark Johnston, his wife, Concept Development Director Arlene Johnston, and his brothers, Chief Executive Officer Bob Johnston and Vice President, Mike Johnston, founded Burger 21 in November 2009.  

Leveraging more than 25 years of franchising experience, the Johnston family recognized an opportunity to introduce a higher quality product in a rapidly growing foodservice category. The first corporate-owned Burger 21 restaurant opened in Tampa, Fla., in November 2010, and the second opened last month.

"Burger 21 chose Orlando as its first priority market since the brand originated in nearby Tampa because we have strong ties to the local community, and the region is prime for economic development," says Mark Johnston, chief concept officer of Front Burner Brands, management company for Burger 21.

"While there are other burger concepts in the area, we believe there is still a need for a restaurant that goes beyond the better burger – offering quality, premium ingredients, innovative recipes, and a gourmet experience without the gourmet price."

To fuel Burger 21's growth, the company is seeking single and multi-unit operators with restaurant experience. Franchisee candidates should have a minimum net worth of $500,000 and liquid assets of at least $200,000 per unit.

Burger 21 will be developed through single-unit agreements and Area Development Agreements that require a minimum of three to five units in primary and secondary markets.  

Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total cost of investment for one restaurant to be approximately $513,495 - $733,995.  The initial franchise fee is $40,000.  However, a 20 percent discount is applied to all franchises sold by June 21, 2012.  Reduced franchise fees also apply for Area Development Agreements of four or more units.  

"Our first Burger 21 location in Tampa has experienced impressive sales that are exceeding the company's expectations, proving that this is a unique concept well-positioned to grow in Orlando and across the country," says Bob Johnston, CEO of Front Burner Brands.

"We are currently seeking qualified franchise candidates who want to be part of a fresh, contemporary dining experience and launch the brand in their communities."

Burger 21, a fast casual dining restaurant founded in 2010, is a chef-inspired concept with offerings including 21 unique burger creations ranging from hand-crafted, freshly ground beef to chicken, turkey, shrimp, and tuna burgers, made-to-order salads, Hebrew National hot dogs, and an extensive shake bar including hand-dipped floats, malts, shakes, and sundaes.